If you’re in France for the opening week of Les Rencontres d’Arles, Mandy will be joining our friends from Fuego Books on Friday and Saturday to sign copies of Beyond Drifting.
See Cosmos Arles Books for details about the photobook fair.
It’s been a wildly exciting time since Mandy Barker’s first photobook Beyond Drifting: Imperfectly Known Animals was released 1st May! Mandy has been exhibiting the series non-stop since late March – starting at the FORMAT Festival in Derby, then through May at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London (Prix Pictet SPACE). There is still time to see exhibitions at Nature Museum Fryslân (Noorderlicht, Plastic: Fossil to Fossil through June), and until 2 July where Mandy first created the work during a residency – at Sirius Arts Centre in Cobh, Cork, Ireland. During the opening weekend of her exhibition at Sirius Arts Centre, Mandy spoke with Roger Overall – recording an audio interview for his Documentary Photographer Podcast.
The originality of Mandy’s approach to exposing an issue of widespread environmental concern has captured the attention of science-focused publications Smithsonian (for an interview and Instagram takeover), New Scientist, Live Science and Wired; The Guardian and The Telegraph Magazine highlighted her work; Creative Review spread the word about the unique book design; and Mandy appeared in photographic publications Photoworks (interview) and BJP. Even The Socialist Worker had fine words to say about her installation at the V&A: “Perhaps the most original work is Mandy Barker’s microscope polemic against pollution.” Perfect!
We are thrilled that Beyond Drifting has been reviewed so thoughtfully by Laura M. André at Photoeye – the go-to online photobook seller in the US. André describes her full experience of the book, and compares Mandy’s approach to Anna Atkins’ 19th century work, writing:
“Now, 170 years after Atkins, another British woman has produced an important photobook that echoes Victorian-era science even as it exposes a contemporary environmental crisis. Mandy Barker’s Beyond Drifting: Imperfectly Known Animals similarly occupies that liminal space where art and science converge, and its impeccable presentation exemplifies how book design can extend content.”
The entire review is well worth a read.
And Lucy Davies wrote a wonderful piece in V&A Magazine (Spring 2017), enthusiastically proclaiming Beyond Drifting ‘an astounding piece of work’ – text below:
A massive thank you to these writers and media – along with others – for sharing stories about Mandy and her phenomenal photographic work! Also thanks to the physical (and online) bookshops stocking Beyond Drifting, including Photobookstore (UK) for featuring it in their Recommended list.
It’s admirable, too, that during this period Mandy found the energy to sail aboard Greenpeace UK’s Beluga Expedition off the western coast of Scotland for a week, searching for more marine plastic debris to photograph (sadly, it wasn’t difficult to find). Follow her on twitter to read all about it!
Spread from Beyond Drifting: Imperfectly Known Animals
The third edition of Photo London is coming soon, gathering a selection of the world’s leading photography galleries and emerging artists for exhibitions, and featuring a talks programme. Tickets are available in advance via their website, and events take place 18-21 May 2017 at Somerset House.
If you’re planning to attend be sure to stop by East Wing at booth C-2 to meet Mandy and view the Artist Edition box that we are working hard to complete for launch at the fair! East Wing will have copies of trade edition book available throughout the weekend.
Stack of press sheets from Beyond Drifting by Mandy Barker
Mandy Barker‘s upcoming photobook Beyond Drifting: Imperfectly Known Animals went to print this week in the UK, and we’re keen to give you a behind-the-scenes look at the process on press! The book is printed litho – by sheet-fed offset – on Munken Polar Rough art paper, which has the cotton-like texture and feel that we wanted to complement the antique book design.
Beyond Drifting sheets coming off press
As sheets come off press, it’s truly amazing to see how efficient the process is, and how quickly sheets are printed – check out a short video of the Heidelberg press in action (Warning – it’s a bit loud!):
A lift machine is used to turn a stack of sheets for printing the reverse side. For this book 16 pages fit onto each printed sheet.
Sheets stacked for turning to print second side
Used CMYK plates in the bin
Viewing and approving sheets coming off press – test scatter proof seen at right
Press time is both an exhilarating and stressful experience! Months (and years) of creative photographic, design and production work are funneled and transferred into a final form. Decisions made can no longer be changed, adjusted or tweaked. Soon we will receive a load of boxes filled with the visualised object made real – and we’re excited for you to get your hands on it!
Overlapse is thrilled to announce the upcoming publication of Beyond Drifting: Imperfectly Known Animals by UK-based photographer Mandy Barker. Publication is scheduled for 1st May, in time for Mandy’s exhibition of works from the book at the V&A in London, which runs 5-28 May 2017. She is shortlisted for the prestigious Prix Pictet award and exhibits with 11 other shortlisted artists on the theme of SPACE – See full details about the exhibition
Inspired by the pioneering plankton discoveries made by naturalist JV Thompson in Cork Harbour during the 1800s, Mandy collected marine plastic debris from the same location along the southern coast of Ireland. These objects of human-generated waste became the subject of mysteriously beautiful photographs – or microscopic samples – that appear in Beyond Drifting. In all of her work, Mandy’s aim is to combine the contradiction of aesthetic attraction with a message of environmental awareness.
Spread from Mandy Barker’s research notebook during the making of Beyond Drifting
In the course of research and development of her projects Mandy consistently keeps sketchbooks to record her findings and to reflect on ways to photograph and present her work.
She says, “The impact of oceanic waste is an area I am committed to pursuing through visual interpretation and in collaboration with science, hoping it will ultimately lead to positive action in tackling this increasing environmental problem which is of current global concern.”
See Beyond Drifting: Imperfectly Known Animals for more details and a preview!
Overlapse collaborated with Brendan Hoffman of Prime Collective to design and produce a zine featuring his documentary work from Webster City, Iowa. By 2011 the town of 8,000 had lost around 2,000 local factory jobs to Mexico and throughout 2016 the issue of lost manufacturing jobs became a hot campaign topic for Donald Trump. After Trump won the election Brendan felt compelled to share his work from Webster City, and had the idea of distributing a magazine (for free) in Washington during the January inauguration. He didn’t want the real circumstances and struggles of people like his subjects in Webster City to be lost in a mire of campaign rhetoric, and the zine serves to introduce their story to a wider audience.
Limited copies are available to order, with funds supporting the work we did on the project. Brendan successfully raised funds to print 1000 copies in Kiev, Ukraine (where he currently lives and works on documentary assignments). Distribution during the inauguration was met with a mixed response, and the project received wide attention online including from TIME whose infamous cover was emulated in our design.